German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
671 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I am new to this forum and the reason why I joined is because I find the discussions quite helpful.

I have a 9 month-old male. Ever since I've had him (7 1/2 weeks) he has never shown any dominant behaviour, he's been highly obedient. That is perfect because as a person I am very dominant, so there is no problem establishing myself as his alpha. He listens to me, respects me, looks for me for protection, doesn't nip or jump on me even after leaving him for more than 5 hours at home. Always sensible and respectful to ME.

However, he is TERRIBLE with people. He's not aggressive for sure, but is WAY EXCITED. People can't pet him no more! He always nips like crazy at people's hand! Even after I tell him to sit, the person will approach slowly then start nipping hard! And he randomly jumps at people when we're walking and people pass by.

The other day at the dog park, he nipped at a man's leg for no reason. He also chased down a kid and made him cry. (Not fully my dog's fault, but still). And the worst happened yesterday, where he jumped on an old person, and nipped his FACE. He bleeded beneath his lip. He was very angry I said sorry and I told him my dog has had all vaccination and left the park.

HOW do I stop him from contantly NIPPING, JUMPING or worse, BITING people?

ALL answers/discussion will be highly appreciated. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
671 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Is it becayse HE KNOWS he can NEVER be dominant with me, so he takes it out on other people/dogs when he gets the chance???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
It doesn't have to do with him wanting to be dominant, but you'll want to find a trainer local to you to meet him in person who uses balanced training methods.

It sounds like he either has fear-reactivity and anxiety issues around other people, or he's seeing other people as prey to bite, but it's not easy to tell from a written post. Especially for an issue that involves a dog already nipping/biting strangers, you'll want to work with a trainer in person.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm going to pitch an idea anyway. Is this common herding behavior? If so, maybe the answer lies in activities that let your dog express those herding instincts in a controlled way. Obviously, nipping is a problem that no one wants to deal with. Anyway, food for thought.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,850 Posts
Sounds like an over exuberant adolescent dog.Stay out of the dog park for now before he gets in serious trouble.When you are walking him on a leash and going to pass by someone just keep his focus on you BEFORE he begins to lunge.A 'watch me' command,treats or a toy to focus on instead of the fun time he's having jumping and nipping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,884 Posts
you may not appreciate this - however it needs to be said

get rid of the "alpha" nonsense - throw it in to the compost heap

suppression is not training. You have no training .

do you not know how serious this is? "he nipped at a man's leg for no reason. He also chased down a kid and made him cry. (Not fully my dog's fault, but still). And the worst happened yesterday, where he jumped on an old person, and nipped his FACE. He bleeded beneath his lip. He was very angry I said sorry and I told him my dog has had all vaccination and left the park."

your exit from the park -- leaving a senior with a bleeding lip from a dog bite - telling him the dog is vaccinated -- is arrogant

chasing down a kid is simple prey drive . -- it is NOT herding drive . The GSD doesn't "herd" this
way anyway . Many of the HIC videos don't show GSD herding - they are prey drive in action.

Dogs chase moving things -- prey drive -- and it is your fault because you have to train the dog --

the senior had every right to be angry ---

when you are out in public you create an image of the GSD that every one , every responsible owner will be impacted by

keep going this way and sooner or later you will have some one suing you for dog bites - and the dog will pay the penalty.

don't go home and take it out on the dog who is only being a natural , young , DOG .

join a training class . Teach the dog .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,141 Posts
And he randomly jumps at people when we're walking and people pass by. The other day at the dog park, he nipped at a man's leg for no reason.

This behaviour is inexcusable! Your dog is NOT TRAINED, and you are going to get into serious trouble if this continues!

You need to learn how to train your dog. Any half-way competent dog person can 'read' their dog, so they can prevent it from jumping up on someone BEFORE it happens! And if my dog ever nipped someone on the leg or face while I was walking it, believe me, it's the LAST TIME that behaviour would ever happen! There would be a serious 'come to Jesus' moment, and the dog would immediately understand that behaviour was never going to be repeated!

Let me make it plain: I believe in training that it should be kept as positive as possible, but there are some things that have to be corrected IMMEDIATELY, and with a strong enough correction that there is no doubt in the dog's mind that it messed up.

The best example I can think of was when I was trying to rehab a dog that was seriously dog aggressive and she lunged at another dog. She was wearing a prong collar, and I gave her such an immediate hard correction that she yelped. She never tried that move again, at least not while I was holding her leash. Why was I so hard on her? Because she had a bite like a bulldog. Once she got her teeth on another dog, she wouldn't let go. A bite from her could have cost a small dog its life, and at the very least, resulted in major vet bills, and a muzzle order from Animal Control.

Think about the consequences next time your dog goes to nip or jump up on someone. And get yourself a trainer before something worse happens!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,141 Posts
I'm remembering a story here of a Yorkie...yes, a YORKSHIRE TERRIER that wound up being slapped with a muzzle order because it supposedly nipped someone in the elevator of the building where it lived.

The owner said there was no mark on the person's hand and no blood was drawn, and, according to them, the nip never happened. But still, the dog wound up with a muzzle order and 'dangerous dog' designation.

You are leaving yourself wide open for something similar to happen to you and your dog.

It is not uncommon for a dog to be 'perfectly trained' when at home, but totally lose it when distractions are added to the picture. Getting a dog to behave when distractions are around is a very important part of its training. Find a trainer who can teach you how to do this, ASAP!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,645 Posts
I'm not sure where people get the idea that "establishing yourself as alpha" with a dog or puppy is good idea, or desirable. But I can tell you that that information did not come from someone who knows anything about dogs! Your relationship with your puppy should be viewed more like a team. It's very much a cooperative thing, and you're not even the coach, you are a member of the team. As such, you persuade and teach using good communication skills, not dominance!

Find a good GSD-experienced trainer to help you adjust your leadership style and teach this dog some manners! Don't just try to dominate the behavior out of him, as it's very likely that it will get worse in the future without proper training! And yes, definitely stay away from the dog park and all strangers until the trainer can help you control this dangerous behavior.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,727 Posts
OP, thank you for asking advice because you need it. I am being respectfully honest with you to save the dog, you from legal trouble and poeple in your area from being bitten: if you were truly in charge, you wouldn't have these problems so you are not in control of his behavior. Please hire a trainer for private sessions in the real world. Time to quit this nonsense. He is being aggressive because he has bitten people and you make excuses for the dog (not fully my dog's fault"), by minimizing the seriousness of his behavior by labeling 'biting' as 'nipping'. You have a potential 'dangerous dog' at your hands. He will get this label once Animal Control gets involved. I am surprised nobody has reported you yet.
How is it possible that he had the chance to 'chase down' a kid? Why was he off leash?
Basically he is a good dog in a bratty stage of his life where he was able to get away with "murder' (at least not yet literally). Like Carmen said, forget the Alpha nonsense; it is old school and it is suppressing behavior but will not cure it. Please follow up the advice you have been given and keep us posted because we do care.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,141 Posts
As usual, Monique Anstee says it far better than I ever could:

Bolding was added by me.

https://www.facebook.com/monique.anstee/videos/10154198391166246/

On Monday’s post, when I confessed my dog was an *******, someone cautioned me to only retrain with positive reinforcement.

Why?

I teach with positive reinforcement. I advance with positive reinforcement. But the day my dog says ‘no’, the ‘no’ has to be dealt with. I’m not going to wait until she says ‘yes’ so that I can reward her.

You cannot reward a lack of effort. You cannot reward an unwilling student. To keep things simple I’ve chosen to ignore the reason why she is an unwilling student. I’ll deal with that once she cares what I think.

There are certain non-negotiables to live with me.

1. You will not rip my arm off by a leash
2. You will ‘down’ no matter what
3. You cannot eat your Veterinarian, and you must allow me to handle you
4. You can hate strangers, but you must mind your manners

In this scenario, to rehab my young lady, we have begun with reminders on Rule 1 and 2. She knows them inside and out, but somehow, felt they were negotiable if a strange dog was present. Nope. The rules never changed my little friend. These rules are absolutes, and never allowed to slide.


My arm naturally swinging as I walk fixed Rule 1. And Rule 2 required a pop on leash, then a pop on a flexi.

Today the fun retraining began with them as a group. We are back to our normal level of control, but the first time I asked it, they all stood up tall, looking to see who was out there, and why I was asking. They then got Fisher Rings thrown in-front of them. Down means down. It does not mean “look around and decide if you want to”.

The next time I asked for it, they hit the dust. For that, they got positive reinforcement - and kibble chucked at their chests.

Sometimes I think we have made dog training so incredibly difficult. Yes, my dog became reactive. But at no point did that mean that she no longer has to walk nicely on a leash, or can ignore my request to lie-down. Just because she had her confidence knocked doesn’t mean she’s leaving Grade Twelve and getting put back into Kindergarten.

There is a time and a place for communication that addresses they were wrong. Why have people become so scared to tell a dog that what they did was crap?


If my dogs want to hike with me every day in the wilderness, they need to listen. They need to let me call them off, or control them around a bear, deer, cougar, and even more importantly, someone’s pet-dog. And no I’m not dumbing down a non-negotiable just because she had a bad experience.

Rule 4 is still a work in progress, but with the reminders of Rule 1 and 2, Rule 4 is starting to right itself.

Monique Anstee
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,724 Posts
As others have said please get a good trainer. Preferably one very familiar with working breeds.
Seriously, ditch the dog park. You as a handler have absolutely no control in a dog park. Even if you see warning signs your dog is about to behave badly it is more than likely you will not be close enough to stop the behavior and correct it in a timely manner. So the reality your dog gets away with jumping on people, nipping/biting people/kids or fighting with other dogs only to be corrected after the event is over in it's mind and is wondering why you are "punishing" him/her. Timing the correction is everything for positive out comes. I've done the dog park thing and learned the hard way (in a short time) how bad they are. Although there are exceptions, in general GSD's are not good dog park dogs. It is also not just your dog. The uncontrollable behavior of every other dog and there owners makes for some awful stuff happening. The stories I could tell you from first hand observation. Dog parks are most often free for alls with way to much uncontrolled energy; way too many different temperaments and often complacent owners that believe it is "never" their dog at fault. You aren't doing you or your dog any favors going to a dog park. Please, please find another avenue of exercise. Just my two cents.
I sincerely believe with a change in thought process and some professional help you can get a handle on this negative behavior and have a happy outcome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,769 Posts
I can tell you right now, every good owner here read your post and got angry and then took a breath and metered their response to you so it was constructive. German Shepherds that are out and able to chase down children and draw blood on an elderly person's lip is bad for ALL of us. You are giving our beloved breed a bad name.

Do what others said and get a breed familiar trainer asap. Your dog needs some discipline put on him for everyone's safety. The fact that you think he is perfect otherwise is very telltale that you do not have the knowledge or skills to fix this, that is FINE as long as you are willing to go out there and get those skills.

Until you are with a trainer, please do not go places where your dog can scare and hurt more people. Please?

And I have to ask, just for the purpose of maybe getting into your head to see what your thought process is here...when you say it wasn't all the dog's fault that he chased down the kid, you are right. So you are meaning the majority of the fault for that is on you, right? Your dog is, in the world of dogs, a 1st grader who has not been taught any manners or right and wrong by anyone. Like kids, when undisciplined, their default is often "brat". Please please please fix this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
813 Posts
Get some control of this dog!!! He should even be close enough, nor given enough slack to jump on people....

Get that dog on a prong and hire a trainer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
813 Posts
you may not appreciate this - however it needs to be said

get rid of the "alpha" nonsense - throw it in to the compost heap

suppression is not training. You have no training .

do you not know how serious this is? "he nipped at a man's leg for no reason. He also chased down a kid and made him cry. (Not fully my dog's fault, but still). And the worst happened yesterday, where he jumped on an old person, and nipped his FACE. He bleeded beneath his lip. He was very angry I said sorry and I told him my dog has had all vaccination and left the park."

your exit from the park -- leaving a senior with a bleeding lip from a dog bite - telling him the dog is vaccinated -- is arrogant

chasing down a kid is simple prey drive . -- it is NOT herding drive . The GSD doesn't "herd" this
way anyway . Many of the HIC videos don't show GSD herding - they are prey drive in action.

Dogs chase moving things -- prey drive -- and it is your fault because you have to train the dog --

the senior had every right to be angry ---

when you are out in public you create an image of the GSD that every one , every responsible owner will be impacted by

keep going this way and sooner or later you will have some one suing you for dog bites - and the dog will pay the penalty.

don't go home and take it out on the dog who is only being a natural , young , DOG .

join a training class . Teach the dog .
Just because I am curious now.

My dog kona will run behind a child a boop then with her nose. She usually boops them in the leg. She only does this if they start running.

Prey or herding ?

She does do this with adults too
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,884 Posts
prey

if you look at herding dogs , and altdeutsche hutehund - members of old and ancestral herding dogs
you don't see them even looking at the sheep -- they obsess about the line in the sand and the containment.

I have had a few contacts in Germany who were professional herders taking sheep to public parks , fields for land management , weed control . The dog will be running a curb between moving commuter traffic while the sheep
graze within the area that they define by running back and forth and pressuring a recalcitrant sheep back .

the GSD don't drive the sheep as much as escort them .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,899 Posts
Your dog isn’t perfect. A perfect dog doesn’t get out of control anywhere. Your dog is not fully trained and is out of control. If it was my dog I would get a good private trainer who understands the breed and do exactly what that person says. If your dog was trained, he would not have done any of the things you mentioned because you could have called him to you, asked him to sit or lie down, or heel and quietly, calmly taken him from the park before he hurt or scared anyone. A good owner whose dog is trained and in control would have known the dog was going to jump before he did, and stopped him first. A good owner watches their own dog in new situations and knows the signs. I can always tell in advance if my dog is going to jump because he leans down first. He doesn’t jump on people anymore but he did. A lot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,884 Posts
you can train the dog but there has to be a bit of attitude adjustment and I am not talking about the dog

" he's been highly obedient. That is perfect because as a person I am very dominant, "

so what is that ? rule by terror. Highly obedient -mmmm -- doubt it .

training should be happening all the time --- context -- sit in the kitchen is the same sit
required when waiting for stop lights to change colour . Sit means sit .
A recall , come, means exactly that no matter what or where .

Only then can you say yout dog is trained.

training is not punitive or a vent for anger or frustration ---




the child is blamed, the people passing by are blamed , the old guy who got a face bite was blamed ., and then there is the leg that got nipped
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
It's taken me hours to reply to the OP, hoping to find the right words.

Your dog is not obedient to you. He is scared of you.
I don't know how old you are and how many dogs you've had before but you thinking you need to be the alpha is WAY outdated.
If you WANT to be the alpha, please rehome your dog and never get another dog.
If you want to be a pack leader, that is something else. That's what you should strive for. Your dog will be forever thankful.

Don't blame this on the dog. You created this. But I believe you asked for advice early enough to fix it.

I believe you have two options:
1. Find a balanced trainer that knows the breed and accept EVERYTHING (s)he tells you. And handle your dog the way (s)he tells you. Between training sessions, read up, watch videos, and learn about relationships with dogs. Leerburg has some real good info on their website.

2. Rehome your pup.

If you choose option 1, realize it's a commitment and you have to start from zero. You have to be willing to change your attitude. Keep your dog away from other dogs and people as much as possible for now. It's ok for you to say "Sorry, you can not pet my dog".

Good luck and keep us posted.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
Pretty much all dogs can be 'perfect' in a controlled environment when training. My pup around the house and yard would drop like a stone when I said down and her recall was immaculate. However outside your home everything will be far more interesting than you. As others have said you need to concentrate on getting him to focus on you and work on this in far less demanding environments than you are currently putting him in. Also I don't let my dogs off leash until I am very confident that they understand that recall is non negotiable. And whilst proofing this, I use a long line so they have some freedom but I can reel them in to show I really mean it. Even now before I let my girl off the lead I weigh up whats going on around us.

Children can be very exciting to a young GSD. They move fast, make high pitched noises and are unpredictable. (I have brought up GSD's around young children) you are the adult and therefore need to be in control of your dog, regardless of what the child does.

As for him biting the old man, well I would be really angry if a strange dog did that to me and TBH, i would blame you not the dog but that's because I own GSD's. The problem with this breed is that people either love them or hate them, there is no middle ground. In many respects you have to be far more responsible than the average dog owner.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top